This year everyone is turning 4 in our play group. Almost every weekend between the end of June, through July and some of August and into September is one birthday party after another. Liam’s is the end of September so people have a chance to recover from all the parties over the summer! We have so many friends with so many little friends and always enjoy celebrating this special day with them. Plus, Liam loves to sing happy birthday!

present sensory bin

It is customary among our friends that gifts are not necessary. Remember the old saying, “your presence is present enough” (or something like that),  well that’s us! However, I do enjoy giving a small gift since it is a special day. I prefer to make something for the birthday  child to explore and also potentially give the parent a little bit of a break (especially if they have a lot of clean up to do)! Many of the families in our group are now adding a second child, so I know time is precious.

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We had a party on Saturday. For this little girls birthday present, I put together a small sensory bin for her to play with on her own or with her mom and dad. They also have a new addition to the family so I will keep it simple for her. I enjoy giving sensory bins as presents because they offer so much in terms of learning and play and not everyone has a sensory bin at home. Hard to believe here, but I do try to remember that it isn’t common to have bins of rice, beans, aquarium rocks and more just sitting around the house!I rely on the dollar store for my purchases. A thoughtful and fun bin is beautiful but not expensive.  On average a small bin will cost about $5 (plus bit and things from my own supply).

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Often, I pull from my own stash but usually need to pick up some sort of container and some extra fill depending on the theme. I chose a bit of a mish mash for this one. You know a little of this and a little of that. I wanted to make an activity within the activity for even more independent play opportunity since they have a new baby in the family! I used some of my dyed rice and more white rice for the fill. I added three bowls and a set of tongs and a cute spoon. For the bowls, I created a sorting activity/counting activity by including 10 seashells, 10 pretty stones, and 10 glass gems. I also found a sweet little set of snap together stars and hearts for making bracelets or necklaces. Lots for fine motor skills, sorting skills, counting and simple exploration. She might even use the bowls and spoon to create meals for animals! The wooden peg/bowl (what do you really call them?) looked so cute and add another element of fun and play too!

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 I hope she has lots of fun with this birthday sensory bin! 

What types of homemade presents do you enjoy making for children?

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